I usually don’t do this, but Ethel the Dean is a good friend and when she suggests something, I go along with it. Also it’s my birthday so I’m feeling indulgent, so indulge me, won’t you? Even though I have to wonder who would want to know seven things about me – are there even that many that are interesting? My list of phobias is longer than that and I’ll bet no one wants to know the details about my self-destructive lavatory-specific neuroses. Suffice it to say I am very uncomfortable with camping. So instead, let’s talk dishes.
Seven dishes that I have enjoyed and hope you will enjoy too.
1. Momofuku Bo Ssam
I’ll admit to having what started as a culinary crush on David Chang … let’s just say that it has evolved with each Momofuku recipe I’ve made. This pork cooks so long and so low that when it comes out of the oven, it has the structural integrity of room-temperature butter. And that is such a good thing.
2. Pok Pok’s fish sauce chicken wings
You like honey garlic wings? Never make them again. Make these instead.
3. Martin Picard’s duck fat pancakes
There is really no excuse for these except that I sometimes have duck fat left over from roasting a bird and tend to feel extremely decadent on those Sundays we don’t go to my or Nick’s parents’. If you have leftover pork (see Bo Ssam, above), layer it between these pancakes and drizzle too much Canadian maple syrup over top. You will probably feel the heaviness of each beat of your heart for two to three days after, but it will be worth it, and you will feel alive, even if your lifespan is now three years shorter.
4. Vanilla roasted berries
I make these over and over again all winter long. Have you ever tried that coconut milk ice cream? It’s vegan and probably better for you than most of the things on this list; roast strawberries, and put them on that. Luscious.
5. Francis Lam’s ratatouille
This is probably the best ratatouille I have ever made. I make huge batches in September and early October and freeze it, and it reheats beautifully. It takes forever, but it is absolutely worth it. In the dark days of February, this dish thawed and reheated and served over cheesy polenta with crusty bread is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.
6. Pork meatball bahn mi
Nick prefers sandwiches to just about every other category of food. His favourite are pork bahn mi, which we get from Ba Le on Fraser and Kingsway, where they cost $3.75 and come served on fresh-made baguettes. At home, this is his favourite version of a Vietnamese sandwich. We eat these while watching No Reservations and imagining a life of leisure on the shore of some Southeast Asian country we can’t afford to fly to.
7. Scallion pancakes
I just really like pancakes, you guys. These are good.
For an ongoing list of stuff I want to make or eat or buy, you can follow my ish on Pinterest. Also I have a Facebook page now too. You know. In case you’re over there and want to hang out or whatever. And as always, there is Twitter, which is where I forget myself and Tweet whatever pops into my head regardless of how embarrassing it is.